So Cardiff City were able to buy some more time regarding it’s outstanding tax debt by paying off just over a third of it yesterday. Despite having, by general agreement, raised three times the £1 million they handed over in season ticket sales, the club were unable to clear the £2.7 million debt in one go and with HMRC, completely understandably given our previous record, unwilling to countenance a further arranged repayment schedule, I suppose being given a further four weeks to come up with the balance owed was about as much as we could expect.
On the face of it, the £1.5 million plus to be raised from the sale of land adjoining Cardiff City Stadium should mean that we will have the funds in place to satisfy HMRC provided that the whole thing is ratified at the Extraordinary General Meeting of shareholders that has been arranged for 24 February. However, let’s not forget that a month ago the general assumption amongst supporters was that the season ticket money was more than enough to cover the £2.7 million we needed to find.
Therefore, I don’t think anyone can start taking it for granted that we are out of the woods yet. Even if the immediate threat from HMRC was to be overcome, they still need paying every month, as do all of the staff and players at the club, and with us selling potential income streams left right and centre, selling season tickets months early and taking out loans against future income, it is hard to see how we could hope to get through to the summer without going into administration. Increasingly, it looks like we are seeing more of the “something will turn up” type of thinking that has typified what could jokingly be called the Business Plan at Cardiff City over the past ten years or so – if that “something” isn’t promotion or substantial new investment, we look Donald ducked!